My best friend and I have been inseparable since we were five years old. As young adults, we rented a house together and have only become closer year after year. Earlier this year, her husband walked me down the aisle! We’re more like sisters than friends.
In February, my BFF announced that she was pregnant. After almost a year of trying and two early miscarriages, this news was incredible. Her excitement was obvious and beautiful — so I was shocked by the way I felt. Beneath my happiness I was… devastated.
You never hear these kinds of feelings expressed out loud and you never read about them on any blog — but I suspect they are more common than you’d think. It’s just that people like me are ashamed of the ugly way we feel in response to what is such happy news. I’m going to challenge that taboo here and now because I believe so many friendships fall at this hurdle because we can’t talk openly and honestly about the way we feel about our relationships changing.
Digging deep, I was just so jealous! Not jealous of her — jealous of the baby! I resented this new person who was crashing into our lives, who she would love so much more than me.
I hated the fact that she would actively choose to spend time with this new person when I’d usually be her first choice. I ranted to myself that she would become a “baby bore” but the truth was I felt pushed out and I was scared of losing my friend. I was scared she’d change.
And here’s the thing — she will change. Not as a person — having a baby doesn’t alter your personality — but her priorities will be different; they damn well should be.
She will adore this tiny new person more than she’s ever adored anything or anyone in her life. She will find a wobbly tooth or some weirdly coloured crap more interesting than anything we could ever do together! But you know what? This baby is coming.
Talking to my friend about these ugly feelings was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m so glad I did. It transpires that she is scared, too; scared of losing her friendships and scared of losing herself.
Our friendship isn’t going to change as such but we are moving into a new phase, a phase where she is Mum and I’m Auntie Ali for a large portion of the time. There are going to be three people in our little bubble now and, you know what, I’m really excited. I can’t wait to hold my little not-niece or not-nephew for the first time.